- Mental Health
Dealing with Anxiety Attacks
Anxiety and Panic Attacks
Panic attacks is a terrifying experience. If you are here, then you are probably suffering from anxiety, depression, panic attacks or some sort of combination of the three mental health issues. Now, how do we fix it?
Before we go any further, let's stop and focus. I know several things. One, you are desperate and you just want to be yourself again. Two, I am aware that you've probably gone to similar articles where they basically give you some deadend infomation. I'm here to tell you, there is no easy way out. Plain and simple. However, it is my intention to get you on the right path, right here, right now. So, let's get started! First, you need a plan of action in order to deal with your anxiety.
Okay, if you're having panic attacks then we need to find a way to alleviate the symptoms. Please stop with the drugs! As much as you think Valium, Xanax, and other anxiety relievers help cure anxiety, they are a temporary cure at best. Trust me, I know, because I was in the same boat. It came to a point where I felt dependent upon drugs to get through life, especially social functions. You can't live that way. In the long run, it won't help solve the core root of the problem, and you'll become fixated on a drug that may or may not lead to drug addiction.
Next, you need to figure out what causes your anxiety. If you're like me the problem may be what's called generalized anxiety disorder where there is no pinpoint cause or trigger for the disorder. Hell, sometimes just the mere thought of anxiety can spur up some anxious feelings. So, what do you do? One, you need to learn that it's okay. If it is going to happen, then it's going to happen. Don't fight the anxious thoughts, just let it ride. Forgive yourself for not being able to control the fear. Trust me, nothing is going to happen. I understand the whole fight vs. flight struggle. I really do. I know that it is in our nature (people with anxiety and internal self analysis) to try and control it. It's the control that hurts us. Sorry, to say, but you gotta let it go.
Of course, I know you'll counter by saying, "I tried to let it go but it just gets worse." Believe me, I thought this too. However, I also know the nature of how we think. There's always a piece of us that says we let it go and we really don't. Besides, so what if it gets worse? What is the worst possible scenario? You get embarrassed in front of everybody? You pass out due to pure exhaustion? Take a look at your other panic attacks. Did anything really happen? Sure, you were scared to death and you thought you were losing control or having a heart attack. Go back and really analyze the situation. Ask yourself what really happened the last time you had a panic attack? That's right, nothing. It's almost seems silly, isn't it?
Now that you know the simple fact that you can just let it go (and it really is that simple) let's look at how to make yourself feel better. Even though you can't control the anxiety attack or being anxious, you can control how you assess it. When you have a panic attack or high stress levels, the body releases certain hormones to help aid the situation. I like to call these excitement hormones where your body is ready to spring into action. Now, if you do what I said earlier and let your anxiety take it's course, then you'll have all this build up of emotion and excitement. If you don't find a way to release the excitement, you may go into a slight depression, which in turn, may spring another panic attack in the near future. We want to avoid that at all costs.
I've found that the two best ways to release your anxiety buildup is either through action or relaxation. Meaning, you can either workout or meditate through a series of mental relaxation techniques. Personally, I love working out because I can release the tension right away. Basically, it spurs me into action. I either do some cardio workouts such as running or agility exercises or I do some sort of heavy weight-lifting. I love how I feel after a workout.
If I'm in a situation where I'm stuck in the middle of a crowd or can't escape for some reason (meaning working out is just not an option) then I simply go into relaxation mode. It's easy once you get the hang of it. First, you need to understand the physical symptoms of anxiety. Pay attention to your inner-self and make an overall assessment of your body. Is your mind racing? Is a certain muscle tense? Is your breathing shallow to the point of hyperventilation? Chances are, your anxiety symptoms exhibit a little bit of everything.
Now, just close your eyes and breath in and out. Mentally tell yourself that it is okay and everything will be alright. Then, relax your muscles. Go for the major muscles first meaning your chest, arms and legs, and save the face for last. Relieve all that stress build up located in the face and relax your muscles. There are simple relaxation techniques involved that you can further research. The main thing is to stay relaxed and don't let the panic attack dominate your emotions. Get familiar with these exercise routines and become an expert.
Once you have worked out these exercises, I promise you that you'll feel better and the fear of losing control will no longer dominate your life. Yes, you'll have the bad episodes and periods of extreme uncomfortableness, but you'll no longer have an anxiety phobia or a fear of fear.
Anxiety Treatment::Beyond Self Help
Relieving your anxiety and panic attacks is just the first step. While you are going through these exercises and learning how to maintain your anxiety in the short term, you must tackle your psyche from within.
Obviously, there are some internal issues that needs some attention. You might be depressed and your anxiety may be a reaction towards that depression. You may be bipolar, and the series of up and downs is causing you to react negatively. The bottom line is that your body is fed up and is trying to tell you something. Find it, fix it.
Honestly, you can try every self help article out there, but eventually you'll need a psychologist. A mental health professional can not only help assess your feelings, but they can also provide you even better techniques to attack your problems. I know you may be reluctant to share your feelings with someone else, especially a stranger, but sometimes you need to entrust your personal matters with a professional. They can provide you a different perspective that you may never have considered. More importantly, they can help resolve any underlying anxiety issues that are not apparent on the surface. The bottom line is, you need it. So, promise yourself that you'll get the anxiety treatment that you deserve. Find a psychologist and let's get to root of your anxiety once and for all!